In the Summer of 2003, it was agreed that as Pegasus Of Orwell, ECYD’s Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 37, would soon have served four seasons the process for buying a new boat for the club should be initiated. As a result a Sub–Committee was set up with the brief to provide a list of suitable boats to the main committee in time for an order to be placed in September 2004.
The New Boat Committee (NBC) under the chairmanship of Jean Rehill, which consisted of Jackie Dyett, Derek Dyett, Paul Sutcliffe, Jeff Herschel (Secretary) Paul Davies (Yachthusband) John Hall (ECYD Treasurer), had their first meeting on 1 September 2003. The main criteria based on a survey of ECYD members were as follows:-
Length 36’ to 38’
Stability Category 2
Keel Draft 4’ to 6’ max
Number of berths At least 6
Steering method Wheel acceptable
Rig Cruising sloop with lazy jacks and furling genoa
Galley Hot water. Refrigerator, and cooker with grill
Instruments Full systems to include GPS, radar, autopilot and plotter
A loan from the CSSA for £70,000 was agreed early in 2004, although this now has to be with the Association’s bank HSBC rather than the CSSA itself and has to be underwritten by the CSSC. This would produce a budget of £135,000 with the sale of Pegasus and funds from the ECYD coffers. The boat also had to comply with Code of Practice specifications.
Armed with this information and a list of over 100 possible boats the NBC visited the Southampton and London boat shows and held several meetings. The list was reduced to two possible boats a Beneteau 373 and a Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 37. However several members of the NBC fell in love the Halberg Rassey 37 after a visit to the HR stand at the London Boat show.
As a result, ECYD finances were reviewed and two previously rejected expensive but better quality boats were reinstated on the list. These were the HR 37 and Najad 373. The CSSA was approached and extra finance was secured up to £110,000 with an over all budget of £196,000. Four boats now fitted the criteria, the Beneteau, the Jeanneau and now the HR37 and Najad 373 and the NBC consequently arranged trial sails in April 2004.
Final recommendations were made to the ECYD main committee on 13 May 2004. The ECYD Committee took note of the recommendations and decided to opt for the Najad if financially feasible, otherwise the HR 37 and if all else failed to go for another Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 37. The Najad would stretch the club’s finances to the limit but if a good deal could be struck it could be afforded. Jeff Herschel and Paul Davies were to follow up this option.
The NBC was then scattered to the four winds by sailing holidays, weddings and a visit to America and Brian Barnes, ECYD Captain, was drawn into the negotiations. Najad were bringing out a new boat for the 2005 season, the Najad 380, an upgrade to the 373 but with a lot of features of the 400. The Company would hold the Najad 373 2004 prices and give a discount if a promise of an order could be made by 10 July 2004. This was a very good offer that could not be refused. Frantic meetings were held with CSSA and CSSC. Emails were hitting PCs’ at a great rate of knots and further finances were agreed and secured. A letter of intent was sent to Najad by 10 July before they closed down for their summer break. The deposit and contract signed by CSSC were finally sent to Najad in Sweden on 10 August 2004. The delivery date of the new Najad 380 is promised to be in mid April 2005 with delivery to the UK to be later that month or in early May 2005.
The ECYD would like to thank Peter Chapman, the Vice Commodore of the CSSA for his help and support throughout the process of choosing a new club boat.